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Tipsheet

Dem Senate Candidate Mandela Barnes Trashed U.S. Police on Russian State Media

Wisconsin's current Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes, a Democrat now running for U.S. Senate against incumbent GOP Senator Ron Johnson, hasn't made a secret of his anti-law enforcement opinions. That's not conservative spin, either — even CNN recently called Barnes out for now claiming he supports police after previously signaling his support for the defund the police movement and even abolishing ICE. 

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It also turns out, according to a new story in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, that Barnes used to voice his anti-police views during appearances he made — while a member of Wisconsin's state assembly — on Russian propaganda network Russia Today, now just "RT."

As the Journal Sentinel noted in its report, "it is news when it turns out that Barnes offered his harsh words about American law enforcement to a Russian-funded media outlet." No kidding. And it wasn't just a one-off appearance where perhaps he didn't know what he was getting into and then decided to avoid future interviews with the Putin-controlled Kremlin-funded media outlet. A Journal Sentinel review found that Barnes appeared six times on RT between 2015 and 2016. 

Barnes, also, was not shy about his appearances and clearly appreciated the attention from...Russian state media...and even thanked the network and anchor paid by Putin's regime for allowing him to feed into their propaganda.



So, Barnes went on a Kremlin-backed media outlet to trash America's brave men and women in uniform, positions the Democrat challenger is now trying to walk-back as he finds the people of Wisconsin, unlike Russian media, don't like it when he attacks those keeping Americans safe. 

Interestingly enough, once he was seeking higher office, Barnes took a much harder line in his tweets about Putin and Russia, even though he proudly appeared on the state propaganda outlet previously and helped RT make America look like an out of control nation.

Barnes also, quite ironically, tweeted about "Russian propaganda" despite his own appearances on the network that gave literal Russian propaganda legitimacy from his position as an American lawmaker. 

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So, Barnes has tried to flip-flop his stance toward defunding law enforcement and thinks Russian propaganda is good when it gets him attention but is bad when he can smear Republicans for what he bragged about doing himself. Oh, and Putin's bad now, but wasn't bad when the TV network his regime controls wanted to interview Barnes. 

As the Journal Sentinel reminds, "the U.S. State Department said RT and another Russian-funded outlet[s] are "critical elements in Russia’s disinformation and propaganda ecosystem" and their goals "are to manipulate and weaken adversaries." Barnes aided and legitimized RT and Russia's propaganda efforts in what seems to be an attempt to gain notoriety as a state lawmaker.

It's difficult to keep up with his changing tunes, but polling in Wisconsin has shown that voters are figuring out that Barnes doesn't have the judgment or values to represent them in the United States Senate. 


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